My Labour

My original Due date was January 27th, however due to baby’s size from an ultrasound in December my Dr. pushed my Due date back to the 21st of January.

At the beginning of January my Dr talked about induction options available to me if my baby didn’t come on time. I Asked the Dr to take a slow and more natural approach, that I wouldn’t want pitocin if it could be helped and that my mobility was important to me and I didn’t want to be tied down to a monitor for my whole labour. We came up with a plan that I was very comfortable with. I would have a membrane sweep done the week before baby was due to be induced, if that didn’t work, then on the 31st have prostaglandin gel put in to stimulate the cervix and hopefully start labour. then if needed break the water, last resort was pitocin. We did anticipate him coming before the due date because of all the Braxton Hicks contractions I had been having as well as some signs that my cervix was well ready.

As the 21st came and went, my Dr. recommend an induction by the 31st. This would make the baby 10 days late by the revised due date, and 4 days late by actual due date. Waiting after the due date was the worst anticipation I had, looking back, I can say it was worse than labour.

Well I never really thought the induction date would come, it was surreal as the date approached. I thought I would be nervous the night before, but it all just didn’t feel real and I slept pretty well.

We were asked to be at the hospital for 7:30 am to have prostaglandin gel put in. The hospital is a good solid 45 minute drive away ( we chose a hospital out of town as they are better equipped) and had to get up at 5 AM to be ready to get there in time.

We woke when it was dark and started the drive in the dark. Our drive in was quiet and excited and anxious. We didn’t talk much but I held Drew’s hand the whole way there. A good portion of the drive we drive beside the lake, I got to watch an almost full moon setting over the water and the most brilliant colours in the sky as the sun rose. I felt pretty confident that we were going to have a peaceful labor and delivery.

My husband and our baby’s godmother, Courtney, were trained by a Doula to be my support persons and I had also asked my mother to be there for more support. We knew it takes about 6 hours for the Gel to really kick in so we asked my mom to wait till the afternoon to meet us and Courtney to meet us at about 9:00 when we knew we would be told to go out and walk to get the gel and labor going,

When we arrived at the Hospital I was sent right into my delivery room. Our nurse (call her Nurse “A” ) told us it had just been freshly renovated and painted just 2 days before and that we pretty much had the nicest room there was. Nurse A sat down with me and asked me how I was feeling about the induction and asked me questions about how I hoped my labor would go and what kind of pain control measures I would use. I was very excited to have a nurse who would go over a labour plan with me. I let her know what I had planned with the Dr. ,the training Drew and Courtney had, and that my mother would be there.

She seemed so caring about every thing I said…. Then she told me to “Throw that all out the window, you can never perfectly plan a labour and I’d be better off to let the professionals handle it”

She told me that she would check my cervix, break my water, start me directly on the pitocin and recommended I get an epidural right away because first time moms can rarely handle the pitocin induced contrations.

I was dumbfounded and instantly nervous… I told her I wouldn’t let her do any of that because it was not what I discussed with my Dr. That I wanted to talk directly with my Dr before we proceeded forward. She told me my Dr wouldn’t be available for 2 more hours and we should just “Get on with it” I insisted on waiting,

During my wait they took some preliminary blood tests, threw me on the monitor and checked my blood pressure. My blood pressure was of course through the roof!

What we found out while on the monitor is I was already having regular contractions that would be considered great contractions if I was dilated enough. I refused however to let the nurse do an internal on me.

My Dr arrived an hour earlier than expected at 8:30, she asked me how I was and I told her very nervous because I found out nothing was going to the plan I had with her. She looked confused and I told her that the nurse told me there was a different plan. At this point my Dr offered me to be not induced if I didn’t want, that my Biophisical profile and Non-stress Test done a couple days earlier were great. But reiterated our original plan in front of the nurse and basically put the nurse in her place.

Nurse A came back at my Dr saying my Blood pressure was dangerously high for baby and that she thought it would be a better course of action to get me going. My Dr said that my blood pressure had always been fine in the office, being more assured with my Dr there, when my Dr checked my blood pressure it came back to normal levels.

I told my Dr that I didn’t feel qualified to make the decision about being induced or not, that I knew there were some risks to leaving a baby in too long, that I didn’t want him to pass his stool while in me or have my placenta start to break down. She told me my baby was currently as healthy as they could hope a baby could be, that if I was induced baby wouldn’t take the stress of it too badly… but what she would do is insert the gel, if it didn’t do anything we could always re-schedule the induction if I still felt uncomfortable.

I let my Dr do an internal, I was %50 effaced and almost 3 cm dilated, I was already having steady contractions but not strong enough to really get labour going. My Dr. inserted the gel and sent us on our way to wait for the gel to kick in; we were to come back at 2:30pm to decide our next steps.

I left the hospital a wreck not knowing what decision I should make.

I do have a friend , April / Kersteken,who is a maternity nurse and gave her a call and spilled my guts about all the happenings of the morning. She was great. She told me all my rights and responsibilities, let me know that if they do break the water I can refuse any IV for up to 12 hours… Long enough for “Nurse A” to be off shift – that was great to hear. My friend gave me so much strength back and made me feel I could “Own” the decisions being made for my delivery.

I walked with Drew and Courtney , John and our room mate Amanda for about 3 hours around the mall, then we sat down to a lunch. By about 1:30 I could feel the contractions were getting stronger and closer together. They stayed steady like that till we got back to the hospital at 2:30.

When put onto the monitor it seemed I was in a far more active state of labor I was left on the monitor till my Dr was done at her office at 4:00. My Dr came, told me I was now %70 effaced and 4 cm dilated, but my contractions were not intensifying in the 2 hours of monitoring and we broke my water. Contractions really started to pick up.

My mom Arrived and Drew and Courtney were by my side. I was pretty proud of myself for handling the labor so well, I didn’t know how well I would handle the pains. Nurse A was on shift till 7 pm and it was kind of great to show her up as not needing the pain meds. I took different positions to get the baby propped and progress the contractions. I was dilating at a very slow rate. There was progression, but it was long and slow.

At about 6 Pm Adam and Jen had shown up at the hospital and made their way to the labor and delivery room. The hospital I was delivering at has no limit to the Number of people that can visit you and didn’t stop them from wandering in, I wasn’t in any horrible kind of labor but I’m a modest person and was not too happy to have them just stop in … not that I told them so

Well I did let them stay for a little while as Jen was still expecting ( and overdue) and was not sure what to expect when she goes into labor. They took some amazing photo’s which I am so glad to have. After they left, I took another good walk around the halls and got to meet my new nurses (B & C) this is when things got a lot more comfortable. They came in to greet me with Popsicles. They looked over my history for they day, asked how I felt things were going and said they hoped to see if they could get things moving a little faster as I was only at about 5.5-6 cm and only %70 effaced. They offered to me to go into the tub. It took them till about 8:00 to get the tub ready for me.

These two nurse couldn’t have introduced themselves better… I mean Popsicles and a tub… what more could a labouring woman want???

The tub was wonderful. It was just me and Drew in there, they turned off the lights and let us be. It was actually kind of romantic. I was managing the contractions well and being in the warm water made it so easy to handle. He kept telling me how proud he was of me and that I looked so beautiful. I didn’t want that time to end but I knew my Dr wanted to examine me again and it was time to check the baby on the monitor again

At 8:30 I got out of the tub and wandered back to my room to be checked by my Dr. I was now 7.5 Cm dilated and planned to find my way back into the tub, but when they monitored my baby’s heart rate it was way up high it was ranging from the 170’s to the mid 190’s

I immediatly started deep breathing and asking my labour support to start cooling my body down with cold cloths. I guess the sudden amount of progression, mixed with the heat of the tub was too stressful on my baby. It took about an hour to bring his heart rate down to a steady safe place. We would get it down - then a contraction would come and it would go back up. It was 2 steps forward 1 step back the whole time.

It took an hour, but once his heart rate had calmed and the nurses gave us the OK to come off the monitor again it was about 11:30 at night on the 31st. another internal was done and it showed I was only 7.5 cm dilated still. No progression for 3 hours… So I got up and started walking. This intensified contractions again, enough that I had to get back to my bed. By this point it was getting emotionally stressful for me to manage the pain. I asked to be put on the nitrous oxide by 1 pm– I have to say that stuff was the best.

I had control over that gas and used it as I needed, I started to loose track of time that was passing but could still think and communicate clearly. I highly recommend Gas as a pain control if someone needs it.

The gas put me into a surreal almost dream space, between 1 and 4 pm I dilated from 7.5cm – 8.5 cm. Again a very slow progression, but progression nonetheless.

At 4 pm I was slightly disappointed at my progression and realized I had been awake for 23 hours now all of witch I had been feeling contractions. I was getting really tired. I also realized that 7AM was coming and “Nurse A” who I didn’t like would be back on shift.

Its funny the things you ask for, but I remember asking the nurses to make sure Nurse A wouldn’t be the one to take care of me if I hadn’t delivered at 7:00 They reassured me she wouldn’t be there as she was on 1 week of vacation, such relief.

I was getting really tired and needed a break, I debated silently in my head about an epidural. I knew I hadn’t reacted well to the meds used in them before, that my body would most likely cease contracting if I got one. 6:00 am came as well as the realization that I had no energy to push this baby when the time came. I didn’t want a huge episotimy and a vacuum to get my baby out.

I asked for an internal and I was only 8.5 –9 cm dilated. I asked for a “walking epidural” One that has hardly any strength to it in the hopes it would stop my labor so I could have a nap. It took till 7:00 am for the anesthesiologist to arrive and get the epidural in me, I have to say GETTING the epidural was probably the worst part of my whole labour because I got it so late in the game my muscles couldn’t relax and it hurt so bad going in.

It took 3 tries and a lot of frustration on the Nurse and Dr., but once it was in, it did as I expected and my contractions flat lined by 7:30am… the nurses didn’t think it would do that and panicked and wanted to start pitocin immediately. I told them to wait 2 hours and let my labour support and me have a nap. They brought in a cot for Drew to sleep on. At 9:30 they started the pitocin and small contractions gradually started to pick up while I slept through them. I guess my labour is pretty unique in that we stopped it to have a nap. Not many women can say they did that!

My contractions never returned with regularity. At 10:30 I asked them to let the epidural wear off so I could feel the push, at that point I was 9.5 cm dialated. 11:30 I was 10 cm but the baby wasn’t low enough yet, we did a couple controlled pushed to see if we could get him lower. They kept upping my pitocin because my body was contracting only for 30 seconds every 3 or 4 min, my body never responded as they kept upping the dose. I was more than happy with that as it gave me a chance to rest between contractions,

My baby lowered and I felt the urge to push by noon on the 1st. It was 8 sets of 3 pushes over a period of 52 minutes. They brought in a mirror so I could watch his arrival into the world. It was amazing to see that little with head appear and grow bigger and bigger out of me. Once his head was out he was screaming before the rest of his body arrived. I pushed out his shoulders and he made his grand entrance with a full bladder released all over the Dr. His daddy cut his cord and Baby Aedan Robert Scott was born 9lbs and 4oz at 12:52 February 1st 2007.

Although my labor was long, I got to know what I had the right to control. I was in control of what pain relief I had and although labour was hard and painful, it was also graceful. The slow progression helped me to get used to each new intensity of labor. I actually was able to enjoy my labour. My labour support was amazing. They didn’t complain till after the baby was born that maybe I should have cut my nails as they showed me the indents of markings on their hands from me squeezing them so tight.

I feel so lucky to have gone through this experience and have my little boy.

Now begins my labour of love - Until I take my last breath, I will always be a mom!

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